Last month marked the 21stanniversary of the 39 mile around the Island walk which continues to be a notable success with 700 people taking part this year including 21 relay teams.
Walkers were not deterred by the wet weather and the 4am start. This year’s walkattracted people from further afield with 131 walkers from the UK and Jersey and one relay team member from India, a great boost for the Island’s tourist industry.
The weather conditions improved throughout the day and 600 people were greeted at the finish line by sponsor, Saffery Champness’ volunteers.
Organisers are asking walkers to collect and pay any outstanding sponsorship money as soon as they can to be able to raise as much as possible for the 20 charities.
The GSPCA is one of the 20 organisations to benefit from this year’s Saffery Rotary Walk, Steve Byrne, chairman of the charity was among the 700 walkers who took part.
Mr Byrne said: “This was my fourth time I’ve taken part and it was once again an amazing event with so many phenomenal people putting on a real challenge for all to enjoy our spectacular Guernsey coastline while raising funds for 20 great charities.
“Despite taking a few wrong turns on the cliffs in the early hours I was really pleased to finish in less than 11 hours.
“Although there was a wet start, the sun came out and the GSPCA is hugely grateful to all involved and who took part in the Saffery Rotary Walk as the funds raised will be helping towards essential equipment that will help save sick and injured animals at the GSPCA.”
The Guernsey Disability Alliance (GDA) also entered 22 participants, including individuals from member charities such as Access for All, Guernsey Deaf Children’s Society, Guernsey Down Syndrome Group, Guernsey MIND and the GSF Mental Health Fellowship and their supporters. The 1st Guernsey Scouts also assisted them as part of their ‘walk and talk’ initiative.
Karen Blanchford, Executive Director of the Guernsey Disability Alliance said: “This is the third year that GDA members and Guernsey 1st Scouts have teamed up to complete the accessible route of the Saffery Rotary Walk with a ‘Walk n Talk’ giving scouts the chance to interact with members with physical and hidden disabilities.
“The scouts were able to learn more about their conditions, the barriers they face and how opportunities like this to take part in this inclusive community event are a great way to be active in Island life and share their experiences. We thank all the Saffery Rotary Walk committees and all the volunteers for making this such a great event every year.”
The Saffery Rotary Walk is one of the island’s largest fundraising events and has supported a number of charitable causes since its inception in 1998.Over the past 21 years a total of over £700,000 has been raised, with last year’s 20thanniversary walk raising a record-breaking £75,000 for 28 local charities and organisations.
Even though a considerable amount of donations have already been collected, organisers are still expecting more to come in.
“We’re delighted with how this year’s event went. The committee and I are overwhelmed with the generosity and community spirit of islanders and visitors who took part,” said Chairman of the Saffery Rotary Walk Committee Simon Milsted.
“The 20 charities will benefit greatly from the kind donations and fundraising efforts and it’s a pleasure to be involved in an event which supports the whole community.”
This year the funds raised will be donated to the below charitable projects
- Bright Beginnings Children’s Centre– providingbook bags for the Great Expectations reunion groups
- Citizens Advice Guernsey– to repair and decorate the exterior and interior of the Citizens Advice Charity Shop
- Friends of DofE– to train 10 adult leader volunteers to assist the federated schools with their off island expeditions
- Guernsey Animal Aid – to refurbish the building adjacent to the main cattery and expand its capacity to 26
- Guernsey Army Cadet Force (RGLI) – to purchase 10 SUP boards and 20 wetsuits
- Guernsey Bereavement Service LBG– to cover the initial costs of setting up a project for traumatic death support by providing workshops, conferences and bringing trainers and speakers to the island
- Guernsey Mencap LBG– providing a package of sensory equipment including lights, textures and noises
- Guernsey Mind– to fund a launch event for the 1000 Minds programme
- Guernsey Mobility Let’s Go Group (GMLG)– to purchase specialist sports equipment
- Guernsey Multiple Sclerosis Society– to purchase two gantry hoists
- Guernsey PND Support Group– to train six new volunteers to help with increased approaches made to the charity
- Guernsey Scout Association– to take a group on a nine day summer camp in the New Forest
- Guernsey Specials Gym Group– to train two volunteers to British Gymnastics Level 1 status
- GSPCA– to purchase an intensive care unit
- Lungevity– to purchase two new smaller lightweight oxygen concentrators
- Men’s Shed Guernsey– to renovate two large parking sheds with Makerspace Guernsey
- Ormer FC– to purchase portable, rechargeable LED floodlights
- Schools Library Service– to fund regular visits from the Patron of Reading for Bailiwick primary schools
- Sound Guernsey– to purchase PA equipment
- St James LBG– to help fund a timeline exhibition showing the history of St James from 1815 to present day
Lisa Vizia director of Saffery Champness said: “We’re so proud to support one of the largest charitable events in the Channel Islands and of everyone who took part in this year’s walk. Saffery Champness is so pleased that the money raised benefits such a wide variety of Islanders and charities.”
“We’d like to thank all of the checkpoint sponsors and the volunteers who helped throughout the day. They all did a fantastic job and the walk would not be possible without them. Planning has started for the 2019 walk and we are already looking forward to supporting more charitable projects.”
Later this yearLieutenant Governor Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder will be hosting the annual presentation evening at Government House to celebrate the success of this year’s walk where the final sum raised will be announced and cheques will be awarded to the charities.